Teens Charged for Killing Half a Million Bees
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
We’ve never liked the idea of arresting and charging minors as adults, so it pains us greatly to report that a couple Iowa teens made the reckless decision to not only destroy someone else’s property but also inexplicably kill hundreds of thousands of pollinators in the process. They also tragically wiped out the livelihood and occupation of a bee keeper, and destroyed other property, totaling tens of thousands of dollars.
They are being harshly punished, have no doubts about that. We just hope that everyone finds some kind of healing and restoration going forward.
Science Alert reports:
The bees never stood a chance. In the bitter chill of Iowa’s winter, freezing temperatures became deadly for half a million of the exposed pollinators, whose hive homes were destroyed by vandals over Christmas.
In all, 50 hives were trashed in the spree, and without their protection from the elements, the honeybees froze to death in the extreme cold. Now, police in Sioux City have charged the alleged culprits behind this bizarre, senseless crime.
Two boys, aged 12 and 13, were arrested and charged last week in connection to the vandalism, which the owners of Wild Hill Honey, Justin and Tori Engelhardt, discovered on the morning of December 28, when they went to check on their hives after Christmas.
Imagine the shock of waking up after the holiday to find $50,000 to $60,000 worth of damage to their business.
Justin Engelhardt told the Sioux City Journal:
They knocked over every single hive, killing all the bees. They wiped us out completely.
They broke into our shed, they took all our equipment out and threw it out in the snow, smashed what they could. Doesn’t look like anything was stolen, everything was just vandalized or destroyed.
Insurers there do not offer bee hive coverage, so the couple took on the business at great personal risk.
The juveniles have been charged with three felonies, including criminal mischief in the first degree and burglary in the third degree – in addition to possession of burglar’s tools, an aggravated misdemeanor. There is also an obscure agricultural animal facilities offense that could possibly be laid at their charge. They may be charged as juveniles but, if they aren’t, they would be looking at up to 10 years in prison and fines as much as $10,000 if they are found guilty.
Pollinators the world over are facing serious challenges and those problems are putting our food supply in jeopardy – without vandals senselessly killing them. The Engelhardts are immensely grateful that more and more people are aware of these challenges and have donated to their GoFundMe account to put them back into business later this year. They’ve raised over $30,000 so far.
In 2014, the same kind of incident happened to a South Carolina beekeeper – coincidentally after receiving strikes from his homeowners association.
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Heather Callaghan is a Health Mentor, Energy Healer, writer, speaker and food freedom advocate. She is the Editor and co-founder of NaturalBlaze as well as a certified Self-Referencing IITM Practitioner.